GVBD | round 12 preview

By Alex Mitchell

Stanhope needs a miracle to make Allan Matheson Shield finals - but its bowlers have not lost hope.

Heading to today's final round clash with Euroa, Stanhope does not just need to win every rink to jump into the top four, but would also require Kyabram to lose every rink against Shepparton Golf.

But perhaps neither necessity is unthinkable; the Lions have won three of their last four games while the Magpies are struggling, and the Golfers remain capable of beating any team 18-0 on their day.

Stanhope bowler Neville Cowie said there was no point going in lacking confidence.

“We've only talked about in passing, but we all know the situation. We'd need to win all rinks, and have Kyabram lose on all their rinks - but we are in with a chance,” he said.

“(Euroa) is a good side with a couple of good skips, they're going alright and they've done well to held their spot in division one.

“But our two lower division teams are in the top two and we're knocking on the door of the top four, so as a club we're going along quite happily.”

The Lions were in top form last weekend, taking 16 of a possible 18 points against Hill Top in a 105-71 win, led by Shane Walsh's 32-14 rink win.

While they are 17 competition points behind Kyabram, Cowie said the team had been producing well in recent weeks.

“The selectors made a few change and they've seemed to work, because we're going along quite well,” he said.

“We've been practising on good greens at home, which is quite nice. That encourages guys to get to practise, but also to practise properly.

“When we're playing at home there's a distinct advantage when you know how to play your own greens.”

Kyabram will need to improve from the last time it faced Golf, having lost 105-85 back in round five losing three rinks and drawing the other.

But the Power had a nice win last weekend, beating Nagambie by 16 shots away from home.

Shepparton Park's clash with Hill Top has little riding on it; the sixth-ranked Hillbillies cannot make finals, while the Parkers have cemented second on the ladder and a first week final against Golf.

And East Shepparton will be keen to take victory against Nagambie, even if only to take winning form to its first final having already locked down a spot in the top four.

The Lakers are heading down to division two, having won just one match this season.